Is barefoot running a fad, or something genuinely cool?
Barefoot running might (possibly, maybe, in the right light, conditions may apply)
be better for your spirit as you'll feel more connected to the ground and whatnot, and for your body as it encourages better form.
I'm not sure about the spiritual need to connect to the Earth, but when it comes to the body the main argument for barefoot running is :
Running shoes are trying to solve a problem they created themselves. The technology (support/cushioning/...) makes it easier for you, which is good, but letting you get away with too much stuff might let your legs/feet get lazy/weak and get bad habits, and then it's not good anymore (and you need more technology to fix it) .
From what I've read online so far, there is no scientific evidence either way as to what is better.
Running barefoot would make you run in a way that's easier on your joints if done right, but without cushioning from the shoes you'd have to handle the shock absorption yourself (mostly with your lower legs).
So... running barefoot is right but running with shoes is easier? running with shoes and
proper form is best?
Disclaimer: my summary is definitely simplified, probably questionable, and possibly wrong. You can find pages and pages of debate online and make your own opinion.
My work is doing a 10k run, I haven't run for years and so I need new shoes, do I go for the vibram 5 finger things?
Whatever you choose take it easy, train and don't jump to straight to 10k.
Vibram Five Fingers are not the only option if you want "minimalist" shoes (i.e. you can get shoes with the same features except for the individual toes).